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Unformatted text preview: ols an advantage over school districts. Small charter schools, including those schools
in large urban areas, receive significant small-school funding adjustments normally
intended for small school districts. In Connecticut and Minnesota, charter school funding is
not linked to local school districts, so comparability varies with characteristics of the host
Special education funding comparability is evaluated for charter schools that have either
fewer special needs students than school districts, a comparable special needs population
or more special needs students than school districts. Many states, such as Massachusetts,
and Rhode Island, pass along all or almost all special education funding to charter schools
whether or not charter schools enroll more or fewer special education students than school
districts. Charter schools with higher percentages of special needs students get insufficient
funding, while charter schools with few special needs students are able to divert special
education funding to other areas. In states where the special education weightings or
categorical funding is insufficient and a significant amount of general operating funds are
used for special education, the same dynamics apply, albeit to a lesser degree. States that
specifically fund special education costs, such as Delaware, the District of Columbia, and
Florida, either through an adequate weighting formula or through reimbursement, are rated
as comparable in the table. States where school districts either pay for or provide special
education services to charter schools are also classified as comparable states. In North
Carolina and Pennsylvania, school district average spending on special education follows
special education students regardless of the cost of services for the disability. Thus, highcost special needs students are not comparably funded, and low-cost students are more
than comparably funded.
The three rows following special education address funding comparability for low-income
students broadly defined to include programs and weightings for at-risk students and
compensatory education. The dynamics are similar to those discussed for special education
and grade level adjustments. If states provide charter schools with extra funding for lowincome students, the charter school funding system is judged as comparable. States using
low-income weightings or categorical funding—such as California, Florida or Michigan—
are generally labeled as comparable if charter schools generate funds based on their own
enrollment. When charter schools simply get the low-income funding incorporated in
school district averages, the problem of underfunding for charter schools with high
numbers of at-risk students emerges.
Transportation funding comparability is judged on whether charter schools get
transportation funding approximating the school district average, or directly receive
district-provided transportation. In some states, such as Arizona, transportation funding can 87 Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems be used for any legitimate purpose. In states like Michigan and Louisiana, school...
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This note was uploaded on 02/11/2013 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '09 term at Harvard.
- Spring '09